By Fatin Amin
Marissa Lisenbee, a senior on the women’s volleyball team who is currently third in the conference in kills per set, secured her first ever title as Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Offensive Player of The Week on Sept. 14.
The Florida native was given the honor after making a record of 19 kills in 43 attempts, including a service ace and two block assists against SSC rival Saint Leo University. After winning her first SSC Offensive Player of The Week award, Lisenbee has stayed humble and owes it to her team for her achievement.
“It’s an honor to be chosen for a weekly award,” Lisenbee said. “We played well last week so I owe a lot to my teammates for it all coming together.”
Lisenbee, a right side hitter, started off her senior year with a bang as she led the Spartans to a 2-0 week against SSC rivals. In a Sept. 18 home game against Eckerd College, Lisenbee finished with a total of 36 kills in seven sets to bring her average to 5.14 kills per set.
Lisenbee and her teammates felt confident going into the game against the Tritons. This season, she is playing among her fellow upperclassmen and with a home-court advantage, the Spartans had a solid case to take down their rivals.
“Before playing Eckerd, I think we were all very comfortable because we were playing at home,” Lisenbee said. “We knew we had to come out and take care of business because Eckerd was a team that if we didn’t start and finish strong could cause us some problems.”
Lisenbee commends a very well-established team and program for making her career as a Spartan a journey worthwhile. With an outstanding school record, she feels honored to be a part of it.
“I’ve had a great experience at playing at UT,” Lisenbee said. “We have had a strong program all four years and having the opportunity to play for a national championship twice and winning it last year is something I wouldn’t change the world for. I’m very thankful to have been coached by such a great staff and to be surrounded by an awesome group of girls everyday.”
Head coach Chris Catanach praised Lisenbee’s good form as the senior headed into the game against Eckerd. Coming into the season, the coaching staff anticipated her being a reliable player over the long haul.
“She was very good,” Catanach said. “She had a double-double 17 kills, only one hitt.ing error, so she hit a very high percentage, and then she had 14 digs. She was our top scorer so she had a good match.”
Catanach expressed his excitement on Lisenbee’s achievement. Since it is her first Offensive Player of the Week award, Catanach was impressed with her performance.
“It feels good,” Catanach said. “Marissa worked really hard at being a better attacker so that is a nice reward for her. She has become a big, high-contact attacker. Her blocking has improved and she is attacking from the back row, so she has grown everywhere as a player.”
Catanach has watched Lisenbee grow as a person both on and off the court. He is grateful for the mark she has made on her team and how much she has proven herself over the four years she has played under him. Her attitude towards performing well on the court and achieving good grades has made Lisenbee a very notable player on the team.
“She is a very good student and has become a very good player,” Catanach said. “That is a really positive thing on both sides. I give her a lot of credit for how hard she has worked in the classroom and how hard she has worked on the court to be better.”
Lisenbee is halfway through her season, and is looking forward to finishing off her final season on a high note together with her teammates. Lisenbee and the Spartans will continue their season as they have a home game this week to face Barry University tonight.